Shortland Street highlights issue of domestic abuse
Shortland Street continues the tradition of highlighting issues that affect New Zealanders in an upcoming storyline of Domestic Violence.
“I think it’s a really important story to tell and if we can make at least one person realise that it’s not ok, then we have helped to highlight the issue,” comments Shortland Street actor Ngahuia Piripi.
On Monday 11th June, Dr Finn Warner, played by actor Lukas Whiting, will leave viewers shocked with his sudden violent outburst in the upcoming episodes. Struggling to cope he turns on his wife Esther (Ngahuia Piripi) and forcefully pushes her into the corner of the kitchen bench, breaking her rib.
“One of the most shocking aspects of our story is that it focusses on characters we know, both doctors, rather than "outside" characters - in other words, we are exploring this issue from within our world to highlight the extent of a social problem that is not confined to class or income,” comments Fleming.
Whiting, who plays Doctor Finn Warner, hopes his performance will highlight the issue of domestic violence.
“Ngahuia and I wanted to make it as real as possible in order to confront the audience and shed a realistic light on what is really going on behind closed doors. Hopefully from seeing this, people will talk about the issue head on, and victims/abusers will speak out.” comments Whiting
“It’s an issue that needs to be addressed. And if our work can help people feel more open about their own experiences, show them that it’s not OK, and there is help, then we have done our job,” he adds.
On average, NZ Police attend a family violence incident every 4 1/2 minutes (NZ Police, 2016 statistics) and one in three women experience physical and/or sexual abuse from a male (ex) partner in their lifetime (Fanslow & Robinson, 2004) and a child is killed every 5 1/2 weeks by a member of their own family (NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse data).
“New Zealand has damning statistics when it comes to domestic violence - violence that is instigated, not by strangers, but by husbands, partners, fathers - people we know and should trust.”
“We’re telling stories and some stories are challenging and that’s the way it’s always been with Shortland Street. It is a dark storyline that is trying to shine a light on something that is out there in the real world,” adds Fleming.
“We congratulate Shortland Street for shining a light on the issue of domestic violence by involving two doctors in this storyline, which also highlights that domestic violence can be experienced, and perpetrated, by anyone of any class, education, socioeconomic status etc. We also congratulate them on making the effort to consult with Shine to help make their storyline authentic and meaningful,” adds Holly Carrington, Shine’s Communications Manager.
For anyone seeking support and information about Domestic Violence please contact
Shine’s toll-free domestic abuse helpline for confidential support, information, advice is available nationwide- call free 0508 744 633 (9am to 11pm, 7 days a week).
Are You OK? Family Violence Information Line
Provides self-help information and connects people to services where appropriate. It is available seven days a week, from 9am to 11pm, with an after-hours message redirecting callers in the case of an emergency.
It's not OK is a community-driven behaviour change campaign to reduce family violence in New Zealand. Its goal is to change attitudes and behaviour that tolerate any kind of family violence. (0800 456 450)
Phone 0800 REFUGE (733 843) or look in the White pages of the phone book for your local refuge.
Ministry for Children
Phone 0508 326 459 if you are concerned about a child or young person.
Victim Support groups are also located throughout the country. For more information on a group near you, please refer to your local phone directory.